N.C. State Baseball NCAA Tournament Statistics

USA TODAY Sports

Is it time for Austin to be dropped in the order?

N.C. State's pitching has been dominant through five NCAA tournament games, posting a 1.53 ERA and almost a 5-to-1 strikeout-to-walk ratio as a staff. Opponents have managed just 6.6 hits per nine innings, which has allowed the Pack to outhit their competition 50-39 so far. The Pack have also drawn more walks and taken more pitches for the team than their opponents; it all adds up to a better than two-to-one margin in runs scored on the way to Omaha.

Trea Turner and Jake Fincher have been the catalysts at the top of the order, as each have reached base in more than 40% of their plate appearances during the postseason. Thanks to a pair of doubles and a home run, Turner has an astronomical OPS. Tarran Senay has delivered with Turner and Fincher on base, collecting half of the team's 18 RBI. And Senay's power surge has helped him eclipse even Turner as the team's most potent offensive weapon in the postseason so far.

The offense has been hit or miss, so to speak, after the cleanup spot, but the biggest impediment to scoring runs in Omaha might be the lack of production from the third spot in the order. The three-spot is supposed to be the spot for the team's best hitter, but a slumping Brett Austin has been reduced to bunting runners over of late. If you are called on to bunt, you are not the right guy to bat third. And, if the bunt is successful (as successful as giving up an out can ever be), first base is open. Senay may not keep getting opportunities to drive guys in with a base open. He's too hot.

Austin and Jake Fincher are the only two N.C. State players to start every game this season, and Austin has started 59 of the Pack's 63 games behind the plate (he has also DH'd and played the outfield a bit). Included in those games behind the dish are recent 18 and 17-inning affairs. He caught every pitch. The grind of all that time behind the plate seems to be catching up to Austin at the plate. He went 0-for-8 in Sunday's 17-inning game against Rice to drop his average down to .258; he's hitless in his last four games and 2-for-22 in NCAA tournament play. And it's not like he is making hard outs; Austin has fanned 10 times in the postseason. It may be time to consider a Fincher-BTP Favorite Jake Armstrong-Turner-Senay top four with Austin dropping to seventh in the order.

Here are the team's (extremely unofficial*) stats so far in the postseason. The hitting statistics follow the typical batting order, while the pitching numbers are ordered by innings pitched.

AB/H

R/RBI

2B/HR

BB/K

HBP

SB/CS

S

OPS

Turner

23/9

6/1

2/1

3/1

0

3/0

0

1.071

Fincher

24/10

4/4

1/0

0/6

1

0/2

1

0.898

Austin

22/2

1/0

1/0

1/10

0

0/1

2

0.266

Senay

22/8

3/9

2/2

3/7

0

0/0

0

1.167

Clyde

22/4

0/1

0/0

2/5

1

0/0

0

0.462

Williams

22/6

2/0

2/0

2/3

0

2/2

0

0.697

Adametz

21/1

1/0

0/0

0/5

1

0/0

0

0.139

Armstrong

9/2

2/0

1/0

2/2

4

1/0

0

0.866

Ratledge

19/7

3/3

1/0

1/2

0

1/0

2

0.821

Bergquist

4/1

1/0

0/0

0/0

0

0/0

0

0.500

Morgan

3/0

0/0

0/0

0/3

0

0/0

0

0.000

Totals

191/50

23/18

10/3

14/44

7

7/5

5

0.696

G/IP

H

R/ER

BB/K

HBP/WP

W-L

SV

ERA

Rodon

2/17.1

13

3/3

2/19

4/0

1-0

0

1.56

Ogburn

2/8.2

8

1/1

1/7

0/0

1-0

0

1.04

Stone

1/5.1

4

0/0

0/3

0/1

1-0

0

0.00

Jernigan

1/5

2

1/1

2/2

1/0

0-0

0

1.80

Easley

2/4.2

1

0/0

1/4

0/0

2-0

0

0.00

Sasser

3/3

1

0/0

1/3

0/0

0-0

1

0.00

Overman

1/3

0

0/0

1/2

0/0

0-0

0

0.00

Woeck

2/2.2

5

2/2

0/5

0/0

0-0

0

6.75

Wilkins

2/2

3

2/1

1/3

0/0

0-0

0

4.50

Frye

1/.2

0

0/0

0/0

0/0

0-0

0

0.00

Thomas

1/.2

1

1/1

1/0

0/0

0-0

0

13.50

Gilbert

1/0

1

0/0

0/0

0/0

0-0

0

0.00

Totals

5/53

39

10/9

10/48

5/1

5-0

1

1.53

*I thoroughly (very quickly) examined (scanned) the box scores from the last five games to compile the stats, so it is very unlikely (entirely possible) that I missed something. If you catch a booboo, please let me know in the comments.

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